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KB #240084: SQL will not start. The System cannot find the file specified




SQL Server does not start and the System Event log has an entry from the Service Control Manager: “The system cannot find the file specified.” This can be caused by a few issues. See below for more information.

Additional Information:

Failure of SQL to autostart after reboot, or to start after a manual request, can be caused by several factors. This article references issues where the Service Control Manager reports “The system cannot find the file specified”.


SQL Server may not start for other reasons with different error messages. Articles related to SQL not starting are listed below.

Related Topics:

240017: Cyclic Redundancy Check Error (CRC) When Starting SQL Server or MSDE

240040: Cannot start SQL Server or encrypted database is inaccessible when profile is on a remote machine

240082: Secured Instance of SQL Server does not AutoStart if McAfee On Access Scanning is enabled

240061: SQL does not start – Error: Another version of the product is already installed.

240070: Error “The specified file is not encrypted” when starting SQL

240077: Error “Another version of this product is already installed” when starting SQL

240091: NLCBTASK Service fails to start with error “The system cannot find the file specified”